- Software: Inkscape (or any other software with vector tools)
- Level: Intermediate
- Subject: Peacock Feather
Update: A small intermission – you may be interested in the following related tutorials/posts published at a later date:
As promised in the last post, here is a walk-through on creating a peacock feather using any vector graphics software.
It was when I created the vector art for the previous post, when I realized the form and structure of the peacock feather. The one in that post was done using a reference photograph, and it did not have the neat curves that is usual signature of any vector art. I worked out several steps to get to a peacock feather from scratch. Once it was done, I went about analyzing the different steps and found that it would be too elaborate to explain each and every steps involved. Hence, instead of a step wise tutorial, here is a walk-through with snapshots at various stages.
Those are the simple steps that gives the basic form of the feather. Draw the stem, after the circle with the length as long as you wish. After that perform a union on the two shapes to get one shape (right one).
Draw an inverted triangle where the stem intersects the circle and again perform a union to get a single shape. Give a bit of concave curve to the bezier path.
This is an interesting part where you might need to zoom in to get the three circles close to each other as depicted above.
Next draw a roughly elliptical shape, and then another smaller one with a bump at the bottom (middle image). After that, draw another thin stem between the base shape that pokes in to the bump.
If the previous stage was intricate, then we step up a notch and create a bristle as above. It is basically a closed shape formed by two line segments. They are curved at different degrees to enclose a narrow area.
Several copies of the curved bristle is taken and placed over the stem. As we work the way up the stem, we may need to rotate the bristle few degrees, every now and then.
Once the bristles are placed on the left side of the feather, it is just required to select all the bristles, make a copy and flip them horizontally. Observe that few bristles are overlapping at the tip of the feather. If it is not desirable, it may be corrected, as I did in the next stage.
For the gap in between the top bristles, there is a choice of drawing few more bristles from scratch or just reusing the same bristle after scaling and rotating it.
The lower bristles are moved so that they do not look like an array. Once that is done, all the bristles, and the basic original shape are combined using an union. We are almost there.
That is it. Just color them up. You may need to reorder the different shapes so that they do not obscure the details. Once this is done, it can be grouped together and used in other artworks too.
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